Nikole-Jaye, born in Cleveland, wrote her first lyrics as a thirteen years old, listening to beats of American rap giants of the time. By listening to various musicians in and outside hip hop genre, both huge stars and local artists such as her own mother, Nikole developed a style that is both original and well-crafted. The fact that she is well educated in IT and Computer Science supports that, as she is able to produce beats of her own and isn’t just a clueless girl in the studio.
Overall the track is decent, it doesn’t have fireworks, but it’s “head-bobbable”. The combination of jazzy samples and hip-hop are always a natural blend but this track is very minimalistic. Nikole’s flow sits well embedded in the track. Her vocals are like a 70’s jazz vocalist reborn as a hip-hop emcee, milky smooth. After further listening, she started actually reminds me of one of my favorite female emcees from the late 90’s, Bahamadia. With a more energetic track, Nikole has the flow that could snap necks. Mr. Fantastik was a good complement for Nikole, with his soothing voice and chill, “fluid” flow (somewhat resembling a midwest Snoop Dogg. They sound good and if they had the opportunity to record further, the crafted project would have been beautiful. R.I.P to Mr. Fantastic.
If I had to “nit-pick”, Nikole’s vocal weren’t mixed very well. They seem to stay behind the music and not in front of it and that made the track drag a little. With a pro mix and a beat change-up, this track would be a solid hip hop tribute. The Lyrics aren’t bad, and are actually a bit clever at times. The chorus didn’t make me want to jump and sing and it’s probably because of the mix and also may have been more powerful if Nikole and Mr Fantastic performed a duo chorus. The duo voice would have naturally filled the open air and gave it a lift overall.
Overall, Nikole has the Undeniable potential to rise and gain more audience. She already deserves more and with her being so ambitious I am sure she can claim what’s hers with hard work and dedication. I’d like to hear her rhyme over an anthem type beat or something that has a bit more energy. Link up with a MF doom and do the “dang thing.”
As a native Clevelander, Nikole Jaye’s music is in a class of its own. Never one to be influenced by music trends, in the genre of hip-hop, Nikole has carved out a sound that stems uniquely from her sensibilities, influences and cultural background. Born April 22, 1979, Nikole knew she wanted to be a hip-hop emcee at the young age of thirteen years old, when she found herself writing lyrics to old school beats of hip-hop pioneers such as Rakhim, KRS-1 and Queen Latifah, to name a few. It’s only been over the past five years, however, that Nikole has been actively pursuing a career in the music business as an emcee, performing at hip-hop hot spots in the Cleveland area like ‘The Rhythm Room,’ and ‘Spy Bar’. The diversity of Nikole’s sound is underscored, by her overall philosophy to hip-hop: an emcee should be open to all elements of the music business, not just rhyming. And Nikole makes good on her words. While Nikole’s ultimate goal is to be an emcee, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and Computer Science, to make it possible for her to write, make beats, produce her own music, and be technically informed when she is in the studio. It’s no surprise that the passionate emcee with her Zeitgeist instincts embraced music at such a tender age, considering that her Mother, Debra Stewart, was a locally renowned Jazz singer in the Cleveland area, from the early Eighties to the Mid Nineties. Nikole attributes much of the jazz influence that’s heard in her CD to being an unconscious response from being around her mother at rehearsals and preparing for gigs, during her formative years. But she also has spent plenty of time digging in crates and finding inspirational tunes from the likes of legendary music greats Donny Hathaway, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Nancy Wilson and, most recently, Cassandra Wilson. Nikole categorizes her music as hip-hop, but she emphasizes that it’s a fusion of Jazz and Spoken Word.